stiffen Definition

  • 1to become firm, rigid, or inflexible
  • 2to make something firm, rigid, or inflexible

Using stiffen: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "stiffen" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The cold weather made his fingers stiffen.

  • Example

    She stiffened her spine and refused to back down.

  • Example

    The addition of more flour will stiffen the dough.

stiffen Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for stiffen

Antonyms for stiffen

Phrases with stiffen

  • to become more determined or resolute in one's actions or decisions


    After hearing the criticism, she stiffened her resolve to prove them wrong.

  • to become tense or rigid, often due to fear or anxiety


    The dog stiffened up when he heard the loud noise.

  • to make a punishment or consequence more severe


    The government is considering stiffening the penalties for tax evasion.


Summary: stiffen in Brief

The verb 'stiffen' [ˈstɪfən] means to become firm, rigid, or inflexible, or to make something firm, rigid, or inflexible. It can refer to physical or emotional states, such as 'The cold weather made his fingers stiffen' or 'She stiffened her spine and refused to back down.' The phrase 'stiffen one's resolve' means to become more determined, while 'stiffen up' refers to becoming tense or rigid due to fear or anxiety. 'Stiffen the penalty' means to make a punishment more severe.

How do native speakers use this expression?